INTRODUCTION SUSAN IOANNOU Why Does Anyone Write? CONTENTS THE POEMS OF SUSAN IOANNOU CHAUCER CLASS: A TALE OF MIDDLE AGE MOTHERING DAYS IF I WERE A PEBBLE BUNDLE UP FIRST SNOW NIGHT HIGHWAY, FREEZING RAIN CARDIAC HUNTED THE ANGEL OF DEATH VISITS GRETA EBEL INHERITANCES MY PRUSSIAN PAST HOLDS NO COMFORT LAST PHOTOGRAPHS APPOINTMENT ABOVE FLORENCE: VISITING SIR HAROLD ACTON A CIVILIZED LIFE BALKAN WINTER CAN WE IMAGINE . . . NORTH OF CAPRICORN WHO WOULD BE A GOD SCULPTOR A MODERN POET AND HIS MUSE ILLUSION GEM LURE UNDERGROUND PETROLOGIST POST SCRIPTUM SUSAN IOANNOU Biographical Note
Why does anyone write? In my case, it began simply as fun, around the age of seven, as soon as I could pencil words phonetically into short sentences. Delighting in radio adventures of the day, first I scrawled detective stories crackling with sound effects. Gradually, their noise gave way to tamer fictions about kittens and horses. Following the Beat Generation, like many adolescents I turned inward through poetry. As a woman, I shaped my early books close to home, in the domesticity of Motherpoems (1985), the neighbourhood of Familiar Faces/Private Griefs (1986), and the childlike playfulness of Read-Aloud Poems (1993, Revised 2001) and occasional light verse. Over the years, gradually poetry became a quest. As my focus shifted to the angst of middle age, Clarity Between Clouds (1991) looked for patterns to make sense of the life lived. In turn, while staring uneasily ahead at ageing, illness, and death, Where the Light Waits (1996) raised the broader question of what makes us civilized. In my latest (yet to be published) manuscript Petra, the angle has widened further, filtering the science of Earth’s metals, gemstones, and mining through folklore and imagination. What marvels and quirks there are in our shared physics. Under shifting surfaces, I continue to look for a mysterious order that interconnects us and inspires our sense of wonder and aesthetic beauty. I am also a realist, however, whose darker poems on individual suffering and war probe the violations of that order. In my poetics, the writer is a magician. She creates a parallel world sensuous enough to draw the reader in and become, for a few moments, part of the illusion. The poem is vicarious experience (be that experience actual or made up, lyric or narrative). "It’s just like a movie inside my head," a child once paid my writing a high compliment. Ideally, I want the language to say what it must without wasting breath, to be as three- dimensional as a rock on my palm, and even if the subject matter is brutal, still to feel part of a larger, pleasing pattern. Little by little, I am also learning how to make my lines more musical -- a challenge for my next book. Travel, crisis, and danger sharply contour a poet’s writing. My dramas, however, have been essentially internal. Any poems set abroad are purely imaginary, inspired by reading the newspaper, or absorbing the accounts of better-travelled friends. While I enjoy socializing occasionally, within a quiet, family-centred life I also need long stretches alone, often retreating to the anonymity of coffee shops and subway trains to write. What follows is a cross section of my work, arranged from earlier to recent, suggesting the range of my subjects and treatments. I hope the poems stand up to your scrutiny. Even more, I hope you enjoy them.
Ice -— and you spin out so fast it’s slow, slow, sliding and looping across a white silence numbing your mind. Not even your eyes move. Your whole body is touch -— waiting and waiting for tires squealing, a smash, the thud. Waiting, as farther and farther you spin out past the flash in the centre lane. The snow is an endlessly winding sheet blackness tightens around you. When will it swerve, that last look in mortality’s face? When will physics play out steel meeting steel beyond grace? Waiting, as even farther you spin into the hurtling curb lane. Your heart has frozen its beating. Breath is an icicle jammed in your throat. Why did you ever set out? Why did you listen to them? Why did you dare to challenge the wind? And after the impact will you be able to feel another? Will you be able to feel? Goodnight to this dizzying world. Goodnight to uncounted seconds. Goodnight to far off, lost friends, to whatever this metal womb entombs. Goodnight —- and you feel the slide back, back skimming the snow-mounded rail, back, back, sliding from sideswiping beams, back, back, wet gravel crunching slower and slower -— till pulse flickers into your brain —- you just might make it through this. Slower and slower -— a lurch. Your pores feel the side panel buckling, window rim fracturing glass. One last rattle, low scrape. Headlights melt. From the dark your eyes your fear your life ricochet back into place.
". . . Now you’ve become brooches and pictures and rings,
And I have an ashtray that’s made from your wings . . ."
". . . Never to dig out her bones againMy recitation is at an end.
Nor touch them in their earthly bed
For one must leave the dead to rest."
The wealthy Umbrian farmerAn acre of earth
raising his glass at the marble-topped table
sweeps the air with wide hands:
"All my young days
around the whole world I have travel.
Here is the best. I stay."
Twenty years motoring weekly to King’s College, Cambridge,Remember the luminescence of Turner country,
painting seventeen hundred precise watercolours’
intricate revelations of cornice and spire
to the fat American guest at her Tate retrospective
"I grow roses," Lady Brockington sums up her life.
what train whistles into the evening,
when is the channel crossing,
before the shutter’s last click?
APPOINTMENT ABOVE FLORENCE: VISITING SIR HAROLD ACTON (for Merla McMurray, March 1990) I We create our own estates within the mind. Yours a quiet dusk in Italian hills amber on stucco and sandstone, six centuries’ adoration of hands: Villa La Pietra -— first milestone crowning a cypress drive up vineyards and olive Villa La Pietra —- first step stone to pleasure flowering year round In your calm, vanished ages blend: the facade where Renaissance lintels curled to Baroque circa 1620 for Luigi Capponi, the Cardinal, opens into a frescoed rotunda circling up wrought, pewter stairs. Glassed over since the 17th century, below, da Maiano’s fountain still splashes, ghost of a quattrocento well. II We create our own estates within the mind. Objets d’art -— just so -— on the chinoiserie table, from a red velvet wing chair the butler is silently summoned for Scotch —- in the right glasses -— and canapés. From sixty rooms, evening opens French doors to parterre and sculpture —- giardino grande, restored in 1904. Steps curve under pines, by fish pond and hedges till, along pea gravel, down a mossed second stair, beyond the round lower terrace, day rests. Within his wisteria pergola, fading Apollo turns from Florence, departed friends, and gazes at shield and mitre cresting the house. By its side, 400 years, the ilex bends toward rose-hung columns and rocaille grotto where, like sky-ceilinged rooms, boxed lawns edge twilight down the slope round Hercules’ shadowy peristyle, and Marinali’s granite colossus lit by fireflies. III We create our own estates within the mind. Yours, time marked off with boxwood and yew hedge upon hedge mounting the theatre’s grass. Music, whispering, laughter: six leafy wings shelter each a commedia player, Francesco Bonazza’s 18th-century marbles your father rescued from the Palladian villas abandoned along the Brenta Canal. Yours, time outgrown in old kitchen gardens, giardino segreta, where a glass limonaia ripens azalea and orange, while the crumbling pomario wall —- so startling its robin’s-egg blue -— turns memory back to the house, past servants, white in the sunken pantry, past potted oxlip, gardenia blooming pink along halls, and climbs another dark stair, nodding as heavy portraits rise toward you along the wall. When you sit in a corner by the drawing-room window and chat about semiprecious stones, you know this is where the light waits, its legacy a debt one repays by showing admirers the house and grounds, by sipping Scotch -— in the right glass -— and offering a salver of canapés. With courteous smiles you point out your father’s petit point chair, and chuckle when a guest mentions —- Berenson? Oh my yes, and Duveen —- while it is such a bother these days, spring sniffles, the servants . . . and you just turned 85.
Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and learn from all. A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. Even a chance to be published in a magazine. The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin Board Systems. We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking. Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created. Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede
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. REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press. YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery. Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.
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